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Dancer brings festive cheer to hospice

Worcester Editorial 11th Dec, 2013 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A SON whose father was cared for at a city hospice has given patients and their families an early Christmas present.

Jeremy Cooke arranged for two reindeer to pay a flying visit to St Richard’s Hospice’s Wildwood Drive home yesterday (Tuesday).

The four-year-old Finish reindeer, Dancer and Prancer, were brought in by Helen and Robert Taylor, owners of the Cob House Visitor Centre in Wichenford.

Mr Cooke, who is catering manager for Cob House’s Mayfly Cafe, said he wanted to give something back to the charity which looked after his dad Dennis before he sadly passed away in 2008.

He said he struggled to put into words how grateful he was to the hospice.

“Where do I start?” he said.

“The beautiful surroundings, the incredible staff, the amazing rooms, or the bend over backwards, nothing is too much trouble attitude everyone has at St. Richard’s – or the aftercare.

“It’s not just the fact that the door is always open and the phone is always there.

“Volunteers were available to sit with my dad once or twice a week to give us a little break or were there simply to listen when all we needed was to talk. For this I am, and always will be, eternally grateful.”

Mr Cooke said he had been trying to raise as much money as he could for the cause since he lost his father.

“In February 2008 I received a phone call from one of St Richards’ volunteer sitters who was with my dad to say he was deteriorating. I had a few precious hours with him,” he added.

“The sitter stayed until morning, long after she should, to help, console and just be there.

“I now try to help raise money, or do what I can, for St. Richard’s and if the reindeer coming to the hospice can achieve a hundredth of what they did for dad then I’ll be happy.”

June Patel, care director for St. Richard’s, said everyone enjoyed seeing the reindeer.

“It brought a real spirit of Christmas to the day,” she said.

“We want to make every moment count for our patients and this was a lovely way for Jeremy to give something back to the hospice in memory of his father.”

For more information on the hospice’s work in the area log onto www.strichards.org.uk.

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